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August 3-4, 2012 Headlines: Presidential Gymnastics, Rafalca places 13, ‘n’ Obama avoids date/land in the middle of one

Obama and Romney’s political gymnastics

Washington Post  Fri, Aug 3 2012

At NBC, to say we have Olympics fever is an understatement. For a few short weeks every four years, the Games overtake the presidential campaign as the more compelling news event. But competing in the Olympics and running for the White House have some things in common…Let’s use a sport that’s popular and one that, if President Obama and Mitt Romney actually tried it, would surely entertain audiences more than your typical stump speech: women’s gymnastics. Let the games begin!

Obama to US Olympic team: ‘Your country could not be prouder’

The Hill (blog)   Fri, Aug 3 2012

President Obama stepped away from election-year battles to praise America’s athletes who are competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, telling them “your country could not be prouder of you.” In his weekly address, Obama said the competitors showed the nation that “for all our differences, we’re Americans first” and that their efforts had “brought us all together this week.”

Ann Romney ‘thrilled’ by horse’s performance in Olympics

Los Angeles Times   Thurs, Aug 2 2012

Ann Romney stayed behind in London to watch her trainer, Jan Ebeling, and Rafalca, the mare she co-owns, compete in the dressage ring Thursday. Ebeling and Rafalca, part of the U.S. Olympic Equestrian team, finished 13th in their first test — the individual grand prix competition — with a score of 70.243%. The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott reported that Romney pronounced herself “thrilled to death with the performance.”

German rower leaves London after reported ties to neo-Nazis surface

Yahoo! Sports  Fri, Aug 3 2012

Nadja Drygalla, a German rower who already competed at the Olympics, is on her way home from London a bit earlier than she intended. Drygalla decided to leave the Games after reports surfaced that she is connected to a neo-Nazi group in Germany. Drygalla’s boyfriend is reportedly a leader of the Rostock National Socialists, a group German intelligence describes as neo-Nazi and racist.

Picture of Obama holding baseball bat angers Turkish political circles

New York Daily News   Sat, Aug 4 2012

Barack Obama’s publicity team were thrown a curve ball this week when a photo of the president holding a baseball bat intended to promote friendship with an important ally did just the opposite. Speaking with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday about the escalating crisis in Syria, Obama was photographed holding a baseball bat signed by legendary player Hank Aaron. In the shot, the president looks relaxed and contemplative. But some Turkish leaders didn’t seem to think so. “The photo reveals from whom our Prime Minister receives orders to rule the country,” Metin Lutfi Baydar, an opposition politician for Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) party, said in a statement. Another CHP leader, party vice president Umut Oran, called the picture “an implicit insult to Turkey and its citizens” in Parliament, Reuters reports.

Obama Clears a Baseball Hall of Fame Coin

Wall Street Journal   Fri, Aug 3 2012

Despite earlier criticism from the White House, President Barack Obama signed a bill to mint new coins honoring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y…H.R. 2527, the “National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act.” The measure, calling upon the Treasury Department to mint new coins honoring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. was sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna, a New York Republican whose district includes the Hall of Fame. A companion Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.).

Virginia Gov discusses deal to move Redskins’ camp   Sat, Aug 4 2012

ASHBURN, Va. — Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell says the Washington Redskins have chosen four sites in Richmond at which they hope to hold their training camp next year. McDonnell, speaking at the Redskins’ “Fan Appreciation Day” at Redskins Park, said executives will make on-site assessments next week. In June, McDonnell announced a financial package that would relocate the team’s three weeks of training camp each summer from Ashburn to the state capital in exchange for public funding in renovating their year-round facility. The package includes a $4 million investment by the state and $2 million from Loudoun County, as well as $400,000 from the city of Richmond to fund capital improvements at the eventual training camp site. The Redskins estimate the cost of renovations to their facility, which opened in 1992, at $30 million.

Rex Ryan avoids debate with Obama

Newsday  Fri, Aug 3 2012

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The media sat in stunned silence, unsure of what to make of the dead air. Reporters anxiously had been awaiting a Rex Ryan comeback, certain the Jets‘ coach had stayed up all night crafting witty one-liners. But when pressed Friday for a reaction to President Barack Obama‘s negative stance on the Tim Tebow trade, he surprisingly bit his tongue. “The president of the greatest country there is, and he’s talking about the New York football team,” Ryan said with a smile. “I’ll say this, I respect President Obama. And I respect the fact that this is his opinion.”

Serena Williams and Condoleezza Rice among the unexpected football fans in `My Team’ campaign

Newser   Fri, Aug 3 2012

Football fans will soon be pulling out their jerseys, but a few have gotten a jump on the season: Serena Williams, Melania Trump and Condoleezza Rice are among the NFL fans who’ll be appearing in ads promoting team-themed apparel and gear next week in a campaign called “It’s My Team.”

June 22, 2012 Headlines: Title IX’s 40th, From Russia with love, ‘n’ M.O. leads Olympic delegation

Happy 40th Anniversary to Title IX

President Nixon signing Title IX, June 23, 1972


Title IX at 40: Myths, stereotypes and unintended consequences

MinnPost Fri, 22 Jun 2012 03:20 AM PDT

Editor’s note: The landmark Title IX legislation was signed into law 40 years ago tomorrow by President Richard M. Nixon. The following Q&A with Mary Jo Kane, director of the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport…When Mary Jo Kane came to the University of Minnesota in 1989 she was one of a handful of people nationally conducting research on the social science of female athletes and the impact of Title IX.

Obama congratulates Miami Heat coach Spoelstra

Miami Herald Fri, 22 Jun 2012

President Obama calls Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra to offer congratulations after NBA championship Calling from Air Force One, on his way to Tampa, President Barack Obama called Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra to congratulate him on the team’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. President Obama said that the team seemed to get stronger in each game of the playoffs, and he complimented the performance of the players and coaches. He asked Spoelstra to tell the team that they are all invited to the White House, and he looks forward to celebrating their NBA championship.

Michelle Obama to lead U.S. delegation to Olympic Games opening ceremony

Yahoo! News Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:25 AM PDT

First lady Michelle Obama will lead the official American delegation to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the White House announced on Friday. The group includes women’s soccer Olympic great Brandi Chastain and basketball star Grant Hill, a member of the 1996 “Dream Team.” “This summer I’ll be cheering on Team U.S.A. at the Olympic Games in London with this distinguished group of champions who truly represent the best of our country,” the first lady said in a statement released by the White House.

Politics meets soccer in Germany vs. Greece

Associated Press Fri, 22 Jun 2012

GDANSK, Poland (AP) — Germany’s most prominent fan will be in the stands for the quarterfinal against Greece at the European Championship. Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, wins no popularity contests among the Greek contingent. So the political dimension of Friday’s game only heightens what is already an intriguing match in strictly soccer terms…German and Greek officials are trying to play down the politics. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has been a major contributor to international bailouts for Greece and was instrumental in demanding structural reforms and hugely unpopular spending cuts in return. Greek fans are unlikely to take kindly to Merkel’s presence at Gdansk Arena.

Germany beat Greece 4-2 

Rink Relations: Putin, Niinisto Face Off on the Ice

President Vladimir Putin took to the ice Friday with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto © RIA Novosti. Alexei Nikolskiy


Russian Information Agency NovostiFri, 22 Jun 2012 10:20 AM PDT

President Vladimir Putin took to the ice Friday with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto for a light-hearted hockey match intended to show there is nothing frosty about their bilateral relations.

Fedor Emelianenko: Vladimir Putin Thanks Him for Promoting MMA in Russia

Fedor Emelianenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Bleacher Report Fri, 22 Jun 2012 10:46 AM PDT

Following Fedor Emelianenko’s 84-second demolition of Pedro Rizzo, none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped into the St. Petersburg ring and personally bestowed praise upon “The Last Emperor” for his contribution to and promotion of MMA in Russia. “I want to congratulate Fedor and thank him from all of us, martial arts fans. It is because of him this sport became so popular in our country,” the Russian premier said.

Senate okays bid to decriminalize mixed martial arts

The Globe and Mail Fri, 22 Jun 2012 12:13 PM PDT

A Conservative senator’s bid to remove the criminal prohibitions against mixed martial arts and other combat sports has been approved by the Red Chamber and is off to the House of Commons, where it will be debated when MPs return in the fall. With the popularity of mixed martial arts growing and Ultimate Fighting Championship events drawing tens of thousands of people, some provinces, including British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, have have found ways to get around the section of the Criminal Code that outlaws all combative sports except boxing.

NASCAR tickets ‘ready and waiting’ for President Obama at N.H. Motor Speedway box office

New Hampshire Union Leader Fri, 22 Jun 2012 12:20 PM PDT

LOUDON (Press Release) – Though White House staffers are officially calling it a “campaign visit,” New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Gappens can’t help but wonder if President Barack Obama’s real motivation for visiting the Granite State on Monday is to pick up his tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on July 15. The resourceful Gappens put some tickets in President Obama’s name at the “Will-Call” window in the NHMS ticket office today, just in case the “Commander and Chief” wanted to witness the largest sporting event in New England.

Obama declines NHMS offer

MANCHESTER- Today, Obama for America – New Hampshire State Director Pete Kavanaugh issued the following statement upon receipt of Jerry Gappens’ generous offer:

“Thank you Jerry for your generous offer. New Hampshire Motor Speedway has a proud history, and while the President will not be able to attend, we certainly appreciate the offer.

“The President is a supporter of NASCAR and an advocate for the American auto industry. Under his leadership he made the bold decision to rescue the auto industry, resulting in a resurgence of American manufacturing jobs that are restoring economic security. The auto rescue saved a million jobs up and down the supply chain. In New Hampshire alone 23,000 jobs depend on the vibrancy of the auto industry, and today, the America auto industry has never looked more vibrant. GM is once again the world’s top carmaker. The auto industry added more than 230,000 jobs since June 2009, and 2011 was the strongest year of industry job growth since 1994.

“This is a stark contrast with our opponent in this race who advocated that we ‘let Detroit go bankrupt’ when the auto industry was on the brink of collapse.

“Our campaign is focused on getting the middle class to victory lane. As you get ready to drop the green flag for another great race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, we thank you again for your offer, and I can assure you that supporters of the President will be there in force.”

Gov. Jindal appoints Baton Rouge businessman to Superdome Commission

New Orleans Times-Picayune Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:54 AM PDT

BATON ROUGE — Gregg Patterson of Baton Rouge has been named to a seat on the Louisiana Superdome Commission by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The board, formally known as the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, oversees the Mercedes-Benz Superdome; the nearby Arena, home of the New Orleans Hornets; the Alario Center near Westwego; the Saints training facility on Airline Drive; Zephyr Stadium, located next door to the Saints training facility; and the TPC-Louisiana golf course. Gregg Patterson is president of G.A.S. Investments and was former pitcher for LSU baseball team.

June 4, 2012 Headlines: A first Commencement speech at Marlins Park, an NFL victory on Bounties, ‘n’ politics in Tim Thomas’ future?

NFL wins arbitration ruling in bounty case

Washington Examiner Mon, 04 Jun 2012 07:57 AM PDT

NEW YORK (AP) — An arbitrator ruled Monday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to discipline New Orleans Saints players for their role in a bounty system. The NFL Players Association challenged Goodell’s power to impose penalties for what the league says was a three-year bounty program that targeted specific players. Stephen Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, took only five days to determine that Goodell has the power to punish the players under the collective bargaining agreement reached last August to end the lockout.

Baseball champ facing possible failure in business

Associated Press via Yahoo! Finance Mon, 04 Jun 2012 13:18 PM PDT

Three-time World Series champion Curt Schilling was always more than a big-league pitcher.He blogged, called into talk radio to sound off on sports or politics, campaigned for Republican candidates, immersed himself in World War II history, raised millions for Lou Gehrig’s disease — and passionately played video games.

Why Is America Doing Absoutely Nothing on The Euro and Spain?

ForbesSun, 03 Jun 2012 22:54 PM PDT

Cameron celebrates as Obama and Merkel look on, White House

I think one photograph will come back to haunt Barack Obama. At least if I was Mitt Romney I would make plenty of it. I’d be saying things like: what was the leader of the free world doing as American investors were being burned by problems created by the Euro? The answer in this case is – he was watching soccer.

Only Tim Thomas Knows What Tim Thomas is Thinking With Year Off Announcement (Video)

New England Sports Network Sun, 03 Jun 2012 20:48 PM PDT

Tim Thomas is clearly a complicated, multifaceted guy. Earlier this year it was his outspoken snubbing of President Barack Obama’s invitation to the White House to celebrate the Bruins’ Stanley Cup championship. Now it’s his retirement — with a year left on his contract — to focus on what he referred to as “the three F’s.” But will Thomas really just skip all of the 2012-2013 season? Before the Stanley Cup final is even finished, speculation is already rampant as to whether or not Thomas will get the desire to play again some time next year. Just one year removed from nearly singlehandedly willing the Bruins to the Cup, he still has the ability. But will he have the desire at some point? Right now that answer appears to be no.

Joe Biden to address Cypress Bay graduation at Marlins Park today

Sun Sentinel June 4, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden threw Cypress Bay High School a bit of a curveball when he announced he would deliver the keynote address at the school’s graduation ceremony. But as a result, the Weston public school will not only score a high profile commencement speaker today, it will make the record books as the first to hold its commencement in the new Marlins Park.

How Many Times Can You Turn 40?

The Georgetown DishJune 3, 2012

Tom McMillen, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Tydings, Photo by Neshan H. Naltchayan

Tom McMillen turns 40 a lot. McMillen is a retired NBA professional basketball player, Rhodes Scholar and Democratic U.S. Congressman who represented the 4th congressional district of Maryland from January 3, 1987 to January 3, 1993.  He celebrated his  “40th”  birthday at the Georgetown home of lobbyist and Democratic strategist Tommy Quinn.

Factoids from Wikipedia: McMillen is thought to be the tallest-ever member of Congress. At 6 feet 11 inches, he is two feet taller than current Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski who is believed to be the shortest representative ever. McMillen was also a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team that lost a controversial game to the Soviet Union. Read more here.

May 21, 2012 Headlines: Huffington Photo Contest and more “futball”

PHOTO CONTEST (Huffington Post)

Huffington Post Photo Contest, Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The Huffington Post Mon, 21 May 2012 06:56 AM PDT

Every Monday, we feature our favorite photo of President Barack Obama from the past week, and ask you for your best captions. This photo was taken last Tuesday at the White House, when Obama honored the LA Galaxy, winners of the Major League Soccer Cup. Send us your best caption for this photo, either by tweeting one using the #ObamaPhotoCaptions hashtag or by leaving one in the comments section. We’ll feature our favorite captions below.

Players, patriotism, and politics at the ancient Olympic Games

El Pais Mon, 21 May 2012 04:32 AM PDT

For starters, you think it’s the taking part that counts, rather than the winning? Well, in ancient Greece even just turning up was politically influential. The ruling classes of Greek cities sought to attend the major athletic contests not only to watch the games, but also to engage in politics at a personal or state level. The attendance, and above all the wealth, of each city’s official delegation served as propaganda for community identity and interstate rivalry.

Union boss sends players letter about labor gains

Sports Illustrated Mon, 21 May 2012 17:33 PM PDT

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL players union president Domonique Foxworth sent a letter to his membership Monday outlining the gains they made in the collective bargaining agreement reached last summer with the league. Foxworth stressed safer working conditions and more lucrative contracts. He said the amount of cash spent on players in salaries and benefits increased to about 55 percent of all NFL revenues in 2011. That exceeds any year under the 2006 agreement.

FIFA prepares to pick anti-corruption officials

Associated Press via Yahoo! Finance Mon, 21 May 2012 10:52 AM PDT

FIFA’s 208 member nations meet this week in an attempt to make progress in cleaning up world soccer after a series of corruption scandals.FIFA President Sepp Blatter is scheduled to announce Tuesday which …

Obama bemoans not being allowed to have fun anymore

ANI via Yahoo! India News Mon, 21 May 2012 01:35 AM PDT

Washington, May 21 (ANI): US President Barack has said that he missed a baseball match because he had to attend the NATO summit.

Obama Gets Back to American Football

Cameron celebrates as Obama and Merkel look on, White House



Wall Street Journal Blogs Mon, 21 May 2012 10:49 AM PDT

Just so we’re clear: While President Barack Obama was photographed at Camp David with Germanys Angela Merkel and U.K.s David Cameron watching the epic Champions League European football final on Saturday, he isnt turning his back on the American sport with the same name. It’s a subject that elicits great passions. In fact, the relative merits of football/soccer vs. American football were debated …


Obama throws a football on Soldier Field following NATO working dinner in Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Photo: Obama Plays Football At Soldier Field

CBS Chicago Mon, 21 May 2012 08:00 AM PDT

On Sunday night, President Barack Obama took some time off from his NATO duties to throw the football around at Soldier Field.

Schweinsteiger sorry for German president incident

Connecticut Post Mon, 21 May 2012 05:50 AM PDT

Bayern’s Bastian Schweinsteiger leaves the podium after shaking hands with German President Joachim Gauck after Bayern lost the Champions League final soccer match between Bayern Munich and Chelsea in Munich, Germany Saturday May 19, 2012.

Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger leaves the podium after shaking hands with German President Joachim Gauck after Bayern lost the Champions League finals (Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea) in Munich, Germany Saturday May 19, 2012. Photo- Martin Meissner:AP

At Wrigley, An Evening of Diplomacy

5 NBC Chicago Mon, 21 May 2012

Chicago…It was a picture-perfect night, but earlier in the week Joe Ricketts, the patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, considered and then rejected a controversial ad against President Barack Obama. Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts declined to discuss that. Instead, he just wanted everyone to enjoy a game of baseball that even without NATO would have been exciting.

Hillary Clinton, NATO dignitaries go to Wrigley Mon, 21 May 2012

CHICAGO—Security was heightened at the Crosstown Classic Saturday night at Wrigley Field where NATO dignitaries took in the game. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was even in attendance…Some of the state’s top leaders were at Wrigley for the game including Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin who says he wishes there wasn’t so much focus on the potential for trouble involving unruly protestors.

“And you know I get so tired of all these people complaing, this is the city of big shoulders, not the city of weak knees. We’re gonna have Chicago’s finest out there, if people break the law they’ll pay a price, but if they wanna make noise and march, that’s part of being an American,” Durbin said.

In the end, the White Sox beat the Cubs 7-4.

Department Of Homeland Security Announces “If You See Something, Say Something” Partnership With The City Of Charlotte

Department of Homeland Security Mon, 21 May 2012 08:24 AM PDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Earlier today, DHS Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs Betsy Markey joined Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and officials from the Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to announce the partnership between DHS and the city of Charlotte.

Charlotte Mayor Foxx to announce new safety initiative

News 14 Carolina Mon, 21 May 2012 04:49 AM PDT

Mayor Anthony Foxx will announce a new safety and security initiative Monday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He’ll be joined by representatives from several local and federal agencies, including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Charlotte Area Transit System.

David Beckham is Sending the President a Box of Underwear

Extra TV Mon, 21 May 2012 11:53 AM PDT

Extra’s Terri Seymour caught up with David Beckham at the Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular this weekend — where he was being honored — and asked the soccer superstar about President Obama’s comment on his underwear line last week…Beckham laughed, “I’m definitely going to send him a big box of it!”

Great Lakes Loons General Manager Paul Barbeau appointed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and …

The Saginaw News Mon, 21 May 2012 15:31 PM PDT

Gov. Rick Snyder today announced four appointments and four reappointments to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.

May 20, 2012 Headlines: International news (Russia, Ukraine & Germany)

Putin, Medvedev Congratulate Russian Hockey Team

Russian hockey team celebrate after victory over Slovakia at the world hockey championships, © RIA Novosti. Alexei FIlippov


Russian Information Agency Novosti Sun, 20 May 2012 14:38 PM PDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Russian ice hockey team head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov to congratulate the players on winning the world hockey championships, the Kremlin reported on Monday.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also congratulated Bilyaletdinov on the phone, the government press service reported.

Russia defeated Slovakia 6-2 in Sunday’s final to win the world hockey championships title for the fourth time in the modern era and the first time since 2009.

Two goals from Washington Capitals wing Alexander Semin, and four more from Alexander Perezhogin, Alexei Tereshchenko, Pavel Datsyuk and tournament MVP Evgeni Malkin sealed the victory, which marked a clean tournament sweep of 10 wins.

No ‘foreign treatment’ for Tymoshenko

Gulf Times Sun, 20 May 2012 13:26 PM PDT

AFP/Kiev Ukrainian President Vitkor Yanukovych yesterday ruled out the idea of the jailed and ailing ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko being released for treatment abroad ahead of next month’s Euro football tournament.

Germany has offered to provide medical care to the 2004 Orange Revolution leader and hinted of a possible boycott by Chancellor Angela Merkel of matches played in Ukraine once the tournament kicks off in co-hosts Poland on June 8.

Yanukovych told national television that pro-government deputies were firmly against the idea of changing the country’s laws to allow convicts receive treatment abroad.

“If they suddenly adopt this law, only imagine – thousands of convicts with money will begin corrupting the medical profession,” Tymoshenko’s arch rival told Channel One.

“They (the deputies) told me they cannot do this,” Yanukovych said.

The 51-year-old Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years in October on abuse of power charges that she claimed were a part of Yanukovych’s vendetta against her and her former government team.